Data mining approach to model bus crash severity in Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, planning - safety/accidents


Bus involved crashes, Crash severity, Public transport, Clustering, Association rule discovery


Introduction: Buses are different vehicles in terms of dimensions, maneuverability, and driver's vision. Although bus traveling is a safe mode to travel, the number of annual bus crashes cannot be neglected. Moreover, limited studies have been conducted on the bus involved in fatal crashes. Therefore, identification of the contributing factors in the bus involved fatal crashes can reduce the risk of fatality. Method: Data set of bus involved crashes in the State of Victoria, Australia was analyzed over the period of 2006–2019. Clustering of crash data was accomplished by dividing them into homogeneous categories, and by implementing association rules discovery on the clusters, the factors affecting fatality in bus involved crashes were extracted. Results: Clustering results show bus crashes with all vehicles except motor vehicles and weekend crashes have a high rate of fatality. According to the association rule discovery findings, the factors that increase the risk of bus crashes with non-motor vehicles are: old bus driver, collision with pedestrians at signalized intersections, and the presence of vulnerable road users. Likewise, factors that increase the risk of fatality in bus involved crashes on weekends are: darkness of roads in high-speed zones, pedestrian presence at highways, bus crashes with passenger car by a female bus driver, and the occurrence of multi-vehicle crashes in high-speed zones. Practical Applications: The study provides a sequential pattern of factors, named rules that lead to fatality in bus involved crashes. By eliminating or improving one or all of the factors involved in rules, fatal bus crashes may be prevented. The recommendations to reduce fatality in bus crashes are: observing safe distances with the buses, using road safety campaigns to reduce pedestrians’ distracted behavior, improving the lighting conditions, implementing speed bumps and rumble strips in high-speed zones, installing pedestrian detection systems on buses and setting special bus lanes in crowded areas.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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